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FIAA participates in the discussions on Fiscalization

January 17, 2021
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As of January 1st, 2021, the Albanian Government started the implementation of the Fiscalization. Fiscalization in practice, appears to be a concerning issue for businesses in overall, with many gaps for clarifications and need for support in this transition process.

In this frame, FIAA has been deeply involved in the respective discussions on clarifying various raised issues and questions from members through the great cooperation with the Big 4s in Albania (Members of FIAA and the Tax Council) and General Directory of Taxes experts. The Questions and Answers process on various raised issues is still going on and FIAA is following up through regular communication with the Tax authorities.

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Board Members of FIAA in their first meeting for 2021

January 9, 2021
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FIAA Board of Directors held its first meeting in early January where among others was bid “Farewell” to two Board Members who further continue their careers with other challenges, respectively Mr. Rohan D’Souza the Chairman of Shell Albania who was promoted to another country, and Mr. Perparim Kalo who recently was elected as a Judge in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania.

The Board recalled the year that Albania and the entire world went through, with all the difficulties the business coped with and also shared the insights and perspectives from the various industries FIAA represents and not only.

Although 2020 was an unusual and very challenging year, 2021 has already started and FIAA will aspire and work for a better business environment, important progress and constructive changes. As Albania will go through parliamentary Elections, FIAA expects the New Government to seriously work on the improvement of the business environment of the country which would help towards the economic recovery and flourishing of business.

To support that, the Board in cooperation with various committees of FIAA and further to consistent communication with a good part of the members, prepared a Document with the major business concerns to the attention of the political leaders in the Country. This Document entitled “A Manifest”, will present a clear Standing/Position of the Foreign Business Investors in the country hoping for a good receival from the targeted audience. The Board also highlighted that during 2021, they will continue to build on FIAA strengths and line up its program through continuous communication within network, hoping to re-assume FIAA’s traditional networkings and gatherings soon. The Board will also retain its commitment to ensuring the members to more opportunities and needed assistance, and continue communication with the authorities in the country, and the broader business community to support members’ rights, resolve issues and give its contribution for the challenges ahead.

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FIAA lobbying for the Instruction in the Tax Procedures

December 15, 2020
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During December ’20, the Ministry of Finance issued an Instruction in the Tax Procedures, where Account-blocking orders were foreseen to be issued for debtor businesses and for shareholders and administrators. In this ambit, Meeting discussions have been hold among the Board Members and the Tax & Law Committees of FIAA, and we prepared a Letter to the Minister of Finance and Economy asking for the Review of the “Instruction in the Tax Procedures. The Ministry had a quick reaction on considering the concerns that business community raised and decided to amend the instruction.

For your consideration, the link to the Ministry’s announcement for the amendment of the Instruction: http://www.financa.gov.al/mbi-udhezimin-44-date-09-11-2020-per-nje-ndryshim-ne-udhezimin-nr-24-date-02-09-2008-per-procedurat-tatimore-ne-republiken-e-shqiperise/

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FIAA contribute to the meeting with European Commission officials on Albania’s Economic Reform Program 2021-2023

December 3, 2020
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The European Commission team chaired by Mr Javier Menendez Bonilla from DG NEAR, and Andrew Williams and Christina Vanghele from DG NEAR, Sarah Jurreit from DG ECFIN and Kamil Valica from DG Employment together with business representatives and stakeholders in Albania discussed during a virtual meeting on December on the business environment challenges, features and opportunities for the coming years.

FIAA’s Executive Director, Ms. Jazoj participated and contributed with FIAA-s insights on the Albanian economy, key challenges for business and some recommendations for improvements and of the business climate and economy.

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FIAA Industrial Talks IV – Meeting with the Telecommunication and Information Technology Members

October 23, 2020
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In the ambit of industrial talks with members, FIAA held another interesting meeting with representatives from the telecommunication and Information Technology industries.

The meeting was very fruitful as it brought more insights from the invited participants, sharing their experiences during the Pandemic, difficulties, challenges, as well as learned on the industry concerns and their perspectives on the current doing business in the country.

Despite the pandemic difficulties, which have affected all businesses, telecommunication and Information Technology industries have been performing good. They have found new operational ways to keep their business ongoing, serve their customers properly and most importantly to maintain their staff at work and perform efficiently even from the “new Home Offices trend”, which they have shifted to.

This Member’s Category, were also informed by the FIAA Chairman on the current initiatives of FIAA and were encouraged to share their concerns and recommendations on presenting the Official Opinion of FIAA properly.

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Skavica HPP, a 100% state-funded project, to boost renewable energy generation capacity

October 15, 2020
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During the recent visit of Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, the United States and Albania signed a historic memorandum of economic cooperation between the two countries. This memorandum is considered a significant achievement in elevating the economic relations between Albania and USA. The US firm – Bechtel signed an agreement for the construction of the Skavica hydropower plant, which seems to be the largest contract ever awarded to a sole U.S. firm, is a very good start.

The PM of Albania stated that the Skavica hydropower plant, a 100% Albanian government-funded project, enters the path to finalization. The procedures for this strategic project for energy independence designed to turn Albania into a key factor in the region’s energy sector.

For more information please visit: https://www.kryeministria.al/en/newsroom/me-skavicen-100-kapital-shteteror-rrisim-kapacitetin-e-prodhimit-te-energjise-se-paster/

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FIAA Industrial Talks III – Meeting with the Oil Industry Member

October 10, 2020
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FIAA’s Chairman and Executive Director meet the new Chairman of Shell Industries in Albania

Chairman and Executive Director of FIAA have welcomed to a business network Mr. Ante Frens, successor of Mr. Rohan D’Souza, Chairman of the Shell Industries in Albania and FIAA Board Member. Shell Companies in Albania have joined FIAA from the very beginning and represent good business practices and ethics in our country. Shell Companies have served continuously in the FIAA Board and supported with their experience and know-how.  The new Chairman was introduced with other FIAA members and was briefed on the mission and work of FIAA in Albania.

 

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FIAA Industrial Talks II – Meeting with Board Members

October 10, 2020
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In the ambit of FIAA industrial talks, the Board Members have meet to share concerns and perspectives on the current doing business in the country. Representing different industries in the country, the Board have shared their experiences and perceptions coming from banking, consultancy, real estate development, oil industry, infrastructure and telecommunication.

In view of the fact that Albania is now preparing for the Electoral Run of the political Parties, the Board of FIAA considers as very important the communication with the members, the Government, Opposition and other Players in the political Arena, stressing stronger than ever, improvement of the Business climate in the country.

As such, prior to the upcoming election campaigns, FIAA will soon publish an official manifest consisting on the Top concerns from Business and address it to the parties and interested stakeholders.

Four years ago, FIAA addressed their business concerns through the White Book 2017-2021, an official Document given to the New Government of that time, which would serve as a Work Guide, by using a new format of dialogue between Albanian Authorities and the Foreign Business Community and not only. The goal here was the creation of Ad-Hoc Working Groups with Experts from both Public Administration and Business Representatives, in order to define concrete measures and implement recommendations coming from the White Book. This initiative came out during the discussions on the purpose of the White Book with the Representatives of FIAA. A good part of the FIAA White Book has been accomplished, but still remains a lot to do.

The New Edition of the White Book will be soon under preparation and will include all business concerns and their technical aspects, along with relevant recommendations coming from our members directly.

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FIAA Industrial Talks – Meeting with the Energy Sector Companies

October 6, 2020
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FIAA considers as highly important to further develop communication and discuss among each other on the issues members from respective industries are facingIn this ambit, member businesses of the energy sector, have meet with FIAA’s Chairman, Dr. Constantin Von Alvensleben sharing their concerns and perspectives on the current doing business in the country.

For every business, 2020 has been a tough year but, in particular for those businesses heavily affected by the Pandemic. With a good will and hope to getting back to normality, FIAA is undertaking a series of meetings/industrial talks with its members in order to catch up with the relevant concerns and developments, as well as to create some networking opportunities as a very useful tool for the businesses.

The present members highlighted as very important and most concerning, the need for consistent communication with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, which has often lacked feedback and consultation as a direct interest group for draft laws or directives affecting their businesses. Other issues brought in the table were related to the tax authorities and Ministry of Finance, Local Authorities fees etc.

In the recent months, FIAA has addressed several communications and letters to the Ministry of Energy and will keep pushing to restore communication and follow any request from Members to further support them.

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EBRD LAUNCHES ASSESSMENT TOOL TO HELP MITIGATE CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

October 4, 2020
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is conducting an assessment on business restructuring tools in all 38 economies where the EBRD is active. The assessment aims to provide detailed guidance on legislative gaps to address an expected increase in businesses needing to use formal restructuring procedures following the coronavirus pandemic. It also aims to provide an overview of the options within pre-insolvency and insolvency frameworks across these economies.

For more information read here: https://www.investment.com.al/ebrd-launches-assessment-tool-to-help-mitigate-coronavirus-impact/

 

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